Bike Helmets Next in Nanny State Legislation

Following a move to ban 20 oz. sugary sodas city officials are now considering a $25 fine for riding bare headed.

First , then , now mandatory bike helments.

Councilman David Greenfield, D-Borough Park, introduced legislation this week requiring all cyclists in New York City to wear a helmet when riding, no matter their age.

Under the proposed law, all bicycle riders on streets that are open to public traffic or city park property would be required to wear a helmet. A first-time violator would pay a $25 fine, $50 for a second violation within one year and $100 for a third offense within two years.

Cyclists under age 14 and professional delivery riders are already required to wear helmets in New York City.

“Helmets save lives, plain and simple. It is common sense, but we still have far too many people biking around the city without a helmet. This law will help protect cyclists and will prevent serious injuries and deaths,” said Councilman Greenfield.

According to a statement by Greenfield, head injuries account for roughly one-third of all cyclist emergency room visits and three-quarters of cyclist deaths, and helmets can reduce the risk of serious head injuries for cyclists by more than 60 percent.

"This legislation is not about punishing cyclists, it's about encouraging them to ride safely. Helmets are cheap, light and literally save lives. This law is long overdue and will help reduce the number of cyclists who visit local emergency rooms or are hospitalized as a result of injuries sustained while not wearing a helmet,” added Greenfield.

The legislation comes the same week that city officials announced a plan for . 

eveostay June 01, 2012 at 03:35 PM
It's more complicated than the poll suggests. Since there is a safety in numbers effect for cycling and because the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by a factor of 9, the decrease in the amount of cycling that this law would create would result in more people dying of heart disease than could ever be saved by helmets.
The Gunny June 03, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Anyone that would stop riding and give up the health benifits of cycling because of a helmet law is an idiot. I've seen the result of head injuries from scooter,skate board and bike accidents. I went over the bars during the 5 Boro a few years ago. I was lucky that I was wearing a helmet.
The Gunny June 03, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Statistics from the Snell Memorial Foundation:Every year the estimated number of bicycling head injuries requiring hospitalization exceeds the total of all the head injury cases related to baseball, football, skateboards, kick scooters, horseback riding, snowboarding, ice hockey, in-line skating and lacrosse. Estimated indirect costs for injuries to unhelmeted cyclists are $2.3 billion yearly. In bicycle crashes, 2/3 of the dead and 1/8 of the injured suffered brain injuries. 95% of bicyclists killed in 2006 reportedly were not wearing helmets.
eveostay June 04, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I'm not sure if you're arguing for a helmet law or not. Even if these statistics are true, they don't change the fact that helmet laws discourage cycling and discouraging cycling makes all cyclists less safe. I Googled for New York State head injury causes and found that motor vehicle occupants account for far and away the most head injuries (behind simple falls). Clearly this is the group that should be targeted for a helmet law. (Unless your objective is to discourage cycling, of course.) P.S. I wear a helmet for 4,000 on-street miles in NYC a year.


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